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2 March 2023

“Digital can benefit from that halo of trust from radio”

Exploring the potential of digital audio at the Future of Audio Europe 2023

Bauer Media was the Audio Partner for AdWanted’s Future of Audio Europe 2023, a day that celebrated the vibrant, innovative medium of radio and audio.

Bauer’s Director of Client Strategy Krissie Ford joined a session on how the digital revolution is enhancing confidence in audio planning, alongside Octave Director Charlie Brookes and mSix&Partners Investment Business Director Demi Abiola. The session explored the ways in which the evolving digital landscape is shaping the advertising sector and providing new opportunities for brands.

From audience reach to brand trust, radio has always been a solid investment in any marketing plan. With digital audio progressing rapidly, Krissie asserted that we’re seeing “all of the superpowers of radio, plus the capabilities of digital” which are combining to create an extraordinarily robust platform. With over a quarter (29%) of Bauer listening now through digital devices like smart speakers and apps, audiences have more choice than ever before. This has also affected targeting, with improvements in how specific brands can be when choosing audiences.

Specifically, smart speakers were highlighted as a new addition to the medium of radio which is creating new creative avenues for advertisers. Krissie highlighted that ‘20% of our listening at Bauer now comes through smart speakers, which is where you start to see real scale and land commercial messages in a fun and different way.’ Using the recent On The Beach interactive smart speaker game with Magic Radio as an example of how collaborative and inventive digital advancements are allowing partnerships to become, it’s easy to see how digital is helping to connect with listeners in a brand new way.

“IP connected device listening is huge – the plethora of choice, on demand content and personalisation is what the consumer wants in that space.”

The level of customisation for adverts now available through digital was celebrated by Charlie, as digital audio allows for personalisation and localisation, meaning audiences are delivered ads that are incredibly relevant, “targeting the right people at the right time”.

Krissie was also quick to showcase the new need states we have seen emerging for audiences after the impact of the last 3 years, saying “since Covid we’ve found that the relationship listeners have with their favourite stations have changed. They have new need states; radio is now seen as a friend in the room, something to keep them company.” These human needs that lean into the power of radio also link perfectly with new digital advancements, as audiences are able to access their content in more ways and places than ever before – further solidifying their personal relationship with the medium.

With radio being a mass medium it’s great to broadcast to a wide range of people; it works brilliantly at the top of the funnel to raise awareness. However, Krissie stressed that brands need to recognise that radio is great in the middle of the funnel too – audiences trust and can engage with radio presenters and brands. In a world of fake news, radio is heavily regulated, meaning that audiences can trust that the news that they are hearing is true and informative. Krissie suggested that since traditional radio brands have built those relationships with their listeners, they are more trusting in digital radio and other digital platforms.

“Where radio really shines is in the trust space… digital can benefit from that halo of trust from radio.”

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